and here another official vatican position
The catholic church has a long history for being against the death penalty and supporting the death penalty is clearly against the faith.
But where you really would be surprised are the comments of the pope about the war in Iraq and the US foreign policy.
I think separation of church and state is a good thing because i have my doubts that following the official catholic line would favor the republican party in general.
Opposition to the death penalty is a matter of opinion held by the church hierarchy. It is not a matter of dogma. No Pope has issued an ex-cathedra statement against the death penalty.
The people in the pews are just as Catholic as the Pope and are entitled to their opinions too- until the Pope makes the official call.
Then to hold a contrary opinion would make them heretics. - Tom